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Hampton 59, Coppin State 53

The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- Deron Powers scored nine of his 14 points in the second half, including a driving layup with 1:03 remaining, and Hampton posted a 59-53 victory over Coppin State on Monday in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game.

In a back-and-forth affair in which neither team was able to gain much breathing room, the edge was with the Pirates, who have now played nine consecutive games decided by seven points or fewer, winning six of them.

The inexperienced Eagles (5-19, 2-7 MEAC) seemed to lose their cool down the stretch, as forward Patrick Cole was called for a technical foul with 6:09 remaining and leading scorer Michael Murray picked up two cheap fouls in less than a minute, sending him to the bench with four fouls in a critical stretch of the contest.

Hampton (8-13, 5-3) took advantage as much as it could, going on a 12-4 run to open a 56-52 edge with 1:40 to play. Coppin State had several chances to narrow the margin, but Murray dribbled the ball off his leg and out of bounds to squelch a key possession, and then the generously listed 5-foot-11 Powers weaved his way through the lane to seal the victory.

In the first half, both teams utilized the 3-pointer, which was expected for Coppin State and somewhat surprising for Hampton.

The Eagles came into the game averaging a MEAC-high 7.7 3-pointers per game, and the Eagles battled back from an early deficit by hitting five of them in the first half. Taariq Cephas' second basket from behind the arc gave Coppin State its first lead at 22-19 with 8:27 remaining in the first half.

Hampton, which came in shooting just 26 percent from 3-point range, was 4-for-15 from long range before the break. However, key makes from long distance allowed the Pirates to go into halftime trailing 30-29.

NOTES: Powers was selected MEAC Rookie of the Week on Monday after averaging 11.0 points in two Pirates victories last week. It's the fourth such honor of the year for the freshman from Williamsburg, Va. ... Rebounding has been a season-long problem for Coppin State. The Eagles entered the night last in the MEAC with a minus-9.6 rebounding margin despite Murray's league-leading average of 8.9 rebounds per game. No one else on the team averages more than five rebounds per game. ... Hampton wraps up a stretch of five straight conference road games with a matchup at Savannah State on Thursday. Coppin State concludes a three-game homestand Saturday with a game against Morgan State.
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